Monthly Archives: July 2013

On bipolar…


I posted this on http://forfreepsychology.wordpress.com/  Like it here, like it there.  🙂

**************

rollercoaster

I am not Bipolar.  I have Bipolar.  It is not me, and I live with it, but I do not allow it to have me.

I know, this is all quibbling with language, but when we use language to think, to define ourselves and who we are, our words and their meanings become vital.  All to often, people are classified, or classify themselves as “Bipolar”, as if it were a nationality, culture, heritage or something that defines who we are.

I refuse.

Cancer patients don’t call themselves,”Cancerous”, although Cancer decides much of what they do and how they live.  They have Cancer.  Some lie down and allow their lives to go the way they go.  Some fight tooth and nail.  Some ignore it completely, living with it to the end.  There may be an exception somewhere to this, but I haven’t met anyone who said,”I am cancerous.”  They have it.

So, that’s my attitude.  It’s not for everyone, and if you are a “Bipolar” and embrace it, then good for you.  It’s not for me.

How do I fight?

First of all, I take the position that, despite the way my decision making abilities are tied to my emotion and energy and the way that they don’t always make any rational sense, I am the decision maker here.  If I choose to start behaving in a way that is a danger to myself or someone else, I made that choice.  I own it.  It may have been a poor choice, and may have been helped along by having Bipolar, but I made the decision to do X.  No one made me do it but me.

This position has it’s good and bad points.  It allows me to claim control over something, when internally it’s as if I’m mostly an observer.  Society appears to be all in favor of me lying down and claiming,”But, I’m bipolar, and I am out of control.”  I don’t want that.  I am 36 years old.  I’m a father, and if one of my kids says,”I was out of control”, as a parent, I still punish them for acting badly.  I have more control than a 4 or 8 or 12 year old, even if that control extends only to,”This is getting too hard, I need help.”  It allows me to live and be productive and helpful and a positive influence on my friends and family.  It makes me “happy”.

Secondly, I pay attention.  I pay a LOT of attention to what is going on with me internally.  For example:  Right now, I am a tad stressed, but not bad.  I’m on an “upswing” towards a potential hypo or hyper manic phase, but I won’t know how far it will go until I get there, but I know it bears careful attention to my sleeping patterns and closer scrutiny of decision making.  My chest has that odd “excitement/panic/fear/happiness” tingle to it.  My muscles are “sparkly” as I describe it, that sensation of when the adrenalin is about to drop into your system before a competitive race or something.  My thoughts are quick, but not racing, yet.  This all means that my patience is less, my temper is shorter, and I should probably not make any major decisions on my own and without reflection right now.

I know what I need to do, and the decision is mine as to whether to do the things that will allow me to continue to live and be a “good” influence on those around me or not.

Third, I try to focus my energy on things that are intangible , if I have an excess.  If I am manic and not sleeping, I will try to make myself consider philosophical thoughts, and if possible, engage someone in discussion.  Maybe I’ll pay attention to a social issue, and research it until I feel that I can come to a reasonable conclusion.  Maybe I’ll work on some creative writing.  I know that, me being me, I should try to avoid people that might take advantage of my heightened energy and such until it calms down.

I know what you may be thinking,”That’s not what so many other people say/think/write”.  Nope.  It’s not.  This is what works for me and how I think.

Should Bipolar be fought against or embraced?  I think that’s a decision each of us has to make on our own.  To me, embracing bipolar means “riding the roller coaster”, or more accurately, trying to form my life to where the roller coaster takes me.  If it were just me that I was responsible for, this might be a reasonable choice for me, but other people are effected by everything I say and do.  I choose to accept this responsibility to those people I love and care about and try to set aside my own feelings as I can.

Sometimes, it gets to be too much, and I have to tell everyone that I must take a break.  They can react how they like, but sometimes I have to tell the rest of the world that, for a little while, they can all go hang, or they will be without my influence.  This is a complication to the way I deal with life that the average “boss” will not accept or understand, and that’s ok.  I live within the means that I am able to create for myself or have access to.

I am an individual.  I am not Bipolar, I have it.  It does not define me, that is something I choose.  I do not fit into the “bipolar” category.  I don’t think that anyone really does.  Sometimes I am up so high that the world seems distant and beside the point.  Sometimes I’m so low that the world is monster threatening to destroy me.  It is not those times where I can do this stuff on my own.

So, I work on it.  I think through things, to the point that I research and plan things to the point of it being ridiculous at times.  My thought process is slow and complex, as I sort through information and determine the importance of it in order to come to a decision.  The way I do things internally doesn’t work out very well if I choose to follow an unplanned impulse.  I don’t do well in oral conversation, not having time to think about what I’m trying to say or having an easy way to rewind what has been said and make sure that my own impressions are accurate.  It allows me to live, though, and I’m used to it now.

There have been times I was in a hospital because, well, that’s where the rollercoaster had taken me.  I rode the rollercoaster into a dark, seemingly unending depression, or a manic phase dotted with delusions and hallucinations, or worse, into some bizarre mix of hyperactivity and depression, or a complete lack of energy and a nice dose of racing thoughts and grand ideas that, while grand, were impossible.

It has not been an easy road.  I did not get to this point at the flip of a switch or by taking a magic pill.  I have been fighting for 20 years since my first episode.  Therapy, meds of various kinds, and lots and lots of internal work and thought and reflection.

I know that it only takes a small slip to wind up back in a hospital, so I am careful.  If I see that I am on the way “up” or “down” or otherwise entering a realm where my decisions may not be the greatest, I try to act ahead of time, talking to people who will help me to make good decisions and good choices that allow me to continue.  If the help I get in “public” is not enough, then I may seek something more intensive, but I avoid that option if possible.

I am not bipolar.  I have it.  It does not define me.  I do that.  This is my mantra.  Every day that I wake up and lead a relatively normal appearing existence is a success.  Every day that I wake up and simply live, exist, function enough to get things done that make others’ lives easier is a success.  The only failure, for me, is to board the rollercoaster and raise my hands and let life happen to me.

Will it work for you?  That’s up to you.  Do I think anyone else should or should not choose to fight and live as I do?  No.  That’s up to you and your life and situation.  This is mine though.

It’s my life.  Because I am not bipolar.  I am me.  I am an individual.  I can not be defined as bipolar any more than I can define you as bipolar.  Who you are is your choice.  It may be the only choice you get to make, so make the choice that will make you happy and that will allow you to live as well as possible.

But, I define myself, and I am not bipolar.  I have it.

*******************

🙂

206 Comments

Filed under Mental Health, Philosophical Q&A, Thoughts

Jack’s films…


U MIST WICH THS! LO (YGS translation-Watch this, people, it’s hilarious!)  😛

2 Comments

Filed under People with interesting ideas, Things I like, Thoughts

Ted Nugent-Stranglehold


Ted Nugent has a lot of political ideas.  Agree with him disagree with him…  his guitar skills are amazing.  This is probably my favorite song from him.  The bass riff counterpoint to the guitar just sucks me in.

6 Comments

Filed under Music, Things I like

Monsanto is….?


I’ve been through the deluge of information out there that “Monsanto is EEEEVVVIIIILLLL!”.  “GMOS ARE TEH DEBIL!”.  I dunno, it all smacks of heartfelt claims that don’t have a legitimate basis.  Don’t get me wrong, Monsanto could be horrible and GMO’s might be the end of all humanity, but I just need more information to come to those conclusions than,”They’re playing with God’s work” or “Well, they did something bad once upon a time”.

Of course, then there’s this:  http://exitmundi.nl/exitmundi.htm  (click on the picture labeled “yuk!”)

Indestructible grain destroys humanity.

Indestructible grain destroys humanity.

So…  me being me, I sent them a letter asking for more information.  Here’s the letter I sent through their “contact us!” link:

Hello, I’m trying to form a reasoned position about your company, your products, and your practices. There is plenty of information that depicts your company and products as “bad”, but some of the concepts-like drought resistant corn, appear good. Right now, I think that there is a general fear of anything people do not understand, as well as a fear of “large corporations” and their potential to do powerfully bad things. Put it all together, and I can’t speak for or against you or your products. I wind up fearing the products, even though I can see the potential for genetic modification to produce powerful agricultural items that could help the world. I can also see the potential for horrific consequences. I asked someone who was presenting you as a negative whether the problem was all GMOs, or more a fear that the GMO’s you produce are understudied and not understood by the public. The answers I got were heartfelt, but pretty unclear when it came to logic, appealing to opinion, religion, or security in “the old ways”. One even suggested that enough food is already produced without GMOs to end world hunger, and that your products were unnecessary, as if that was a reason in and of itself. So, I come to you. What are the potential products? Besides drought resistant corn, could you increase the nutritional value of a vegetable? Give it different flavors? Increased crop yields? What safeguards are there in place to prevent hybridization of special strains of corn? How many generations of plant should I expect to get if I purchase seeds from your company? (There are rumors that strains cease to be able to be replanted after 2 or 3 generations) What about the future? Could you produce a plant capable of growing on a semi-habitable planet, or one that does well with less sunlight, more sunlight, differences in gravity? Could you make a plant that would be able to be planted and grown in someone’s house without special equipment, that might be a way for urbanites to feed their families healthier food? If you have any other information that you think would be helpful to me in defining my position and thinking about your company, please, bring it up. Thank you, Arthur Russell

I fully expected to get no response, them being a “big, terrifying company” and me being “nobody important”.  I was pleasantly surprised to get this in response yesterday:

Dear Mr. Russell:

Thank you for contacting us – and my apologies for sending you so much information . . .

Executive Summary, Product Safety Summary and Peer Reviewed Safety Publications for our products can be found on our website www.monsanto.com:

http://www.monsanto.com/products/Pages/product-safety-summaries.aspx

Our Research & Development Pipeline (corn, soybean, cotton, specialty crops & vegetables):

http://www.monsanto.com/products/Pages/research-development-pipeline.aspx

From the Golden Rice Humanitarian Board http://www.goldenrice.org/

Please see information about agriculture and biotechnology:

http://www.monsanto.com/improvingagriculture/Pages/a-brief-history-of-agriculture.aspx

http://www.monsanto.com/improvingagriculture/Pages/biotechnology-101.aspx

http://www.monsanto.com/products/Pages/biotech-research.aspx

I invite you to take a look at the PBS series America’s Heartland ( http://www.americasheartland.org/ ), which offers a picture of American agriculture.

We have a series of videos on YouTube – such as Food for Thought – What do America’s Farmers grow?

Also, please see these articles about food safety:

http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/Pages/food-safety.aspx#q1

http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/Pages/food-safety-science.aspx

http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/Pages/Biotech-Food-GMO-Safety.aspx

http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/Pages/biotech-safety-gmo-advantages.aspx

along with some outside sources:

http://www.who.int/foodsafety/biotech/en/

http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/biotech/20questions/en/

http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/csaph/a12-csaph2-bioengineeredfoods.pdf

http://reason.com/archives/2013/02/22/the-top-five-lies-about-biotech-crops

http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2012/1025gm_statement.shtml

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2408621/

Top Five Myths Of Genetically Modified Seeds, Busted

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/10/18/163034053/top-five-myths-of-genetically-modified-seeds-busted

and Mark Lynas in the UK:

http://vimeo.com/56745320    &    http://www.whybiotech.com/newsandevents/Mark_Lynas_Speech.pdf

http://www.marklynas.org/2013/04/time-to-call-out-the-anti-gmo-conspiracy-theory/

A good source about biotechnology and GM crops is the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications. (http://www.isaaa.org/default.asp )

ISAAA does extensive surveys and studies on biotech/GM crops worldwide each year.  Their 2012 report has just been issued.

http://www.isaaa.org/resources/publications/briefs/44/executivesummary/default.asp

They also have many publications available.

A very good one is “Agricultural Biotechnology (A Lot More than Just GM Crops).”

http://www.isaaa.org/resources/publications/agricultural_biotechnology/download/Agricultural_Biotechnology.pdf

This brochure presents tools that are important for agricultural biotechnology such as

– Conventional plant breeding

– Tissue culture and micropropagation

– Molecular breeding or marker assisted selection

– Genetic engineering and GM crops

– Molecular Diagnostic Tools

as well as questions and answers about GM crops

and http://www.isaaa.org/resources/publications/pocketk/5/default.asp (Documented Benefits of GM Crops)

I hope you find this helpful. Please contact us again if you need additional information.

Sincerely,

Monsanto Webmaster

Now, I have not gone through all of this information yet, and I don’t think I will be entirely satisfied when I have gone through it all.  However, their simple willingness to share the information is, to me, a good sign.  It’s all freely available on the internet, but they certainly saved me a lot of time in looking around, and I really appreciate that.

 

I haven’t come to any conclusions yet, but I’m working on it.  I just can’t assume that they are bad without considering all the possible information.

2 Comments

Filed under Social ideas, Thoughts

Things I want to write about that are still “cooking”


14039385-illustration-of-a-chef-expressing-disgust    These thoughts are undercooked!

 

A lot of times, I don’t have anything to say, because I’m still “cooking” the thoughts.  I don’t focus on things very efficiently, so the things I want to write about settle in similarly to the “background” applications that slow down your computer.  Here are some of them, in no particular order.  If you see one you are interested in, please, comment on it, or write a piece on it and comment a link back to me.

  • What is a tyranny?  What does it look like to the citizens and how does it function?  Possible fictional piece.
  • Parenting piece-probably random
  • Importance of honesty in a society-philosophy/social
  • Building a universe-fiction background and setting for future work
  • Is hope a good thing or a bad thing?  -philosophy

There are others, but these are on ‘top’ right now.  🙂

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Thoughts

“Tainted Love” Evolution of a song…


This is the earliest version I could find on youtube:

Great song, right?  It appeals to so many for so many reasons.  At the time, there was so much strife, women’s rights were still a new idea, segregation was still in effect, Vietnam was going on.  Gloria Jones was a black female singer during this time, and sang this popular song, written by Ed Cobb.

20 years later, “Soft Cell” covered the song.  This was not the first cover, but it was the cover that really brought the song back into the limelight, being played on MTV and associated with a popular music video.  The singer is male, and it speaks to the near desperation of a young man and his desires.  The “synthpop” styling revamped the song into something that appealed more easily to the youth of the 80s, and the song set a guinness book of world records for “longest stay on the top 100”.

Redone again, 20 years later, for the move titled,”Not another teen movie” by Marilyn Manson.  The song and video now become an attention getting anthem for the “Gothic” subculture and it’s dark “forbidden” calls.  The video mocks the “prep” college culture, suggesting that all those people in all black just might be having a more awesome time than the “popular” kids.

All of that said, I love the song.  I really like how one song, redone slightly, appeals to different audiences over a period of 40 years.  It doesn’t matter when you first heard the song, you can jam to any of the versions.  Some songs are good enough to do this, and I always enjoy trying to trace it back over time.  I look forward to the next version that will be a real change, in my opinion-the version I hope we’ll see in 2021.  🙂

2 Comments

Filed under Music, Things I like

No hope for peace in the middle east(even against zombies)?


http://home.myhughesnet.com/news/read/category/Top%20News/article/ap-in_zombies_israelis_and_arabs_find_commo-ap

 

This article starts off interestingly, pointing out that, at least in a fictional zombie apocalypse, Israelis and Arabs can come together against a force that is mindlessly destroying the species.  As you go on, however, it darkens.

The film is seen as too “pro-Israel” in arab circles, apparently.  The idea that there ever can be peace between the two, even when faced with a threat to all of humanity, is called difficult to imagine.  I don’t get it.  How can a racial hatred run so deep that it cannot be put aside, even for a fictional situation?  Worse, what would happen in reality?  Would the Israelis find that those they had saved in the fictional world would immediately begin trying to kill Israelis or something?

 

What madness.  I think I have to use the “Cthulhu approves” stamp for this one.  If racial hatred runs this deep, especially if it turns out to run this deep in other examples of racial hatred, then there really is no hope for the human race.

th

Cthulhu would be so proud.

Leave a comment

Filed under Social ideas, Thoughts